Celtic closing in on 21-year-old Australia international

According to reports, Celtic are about to secure their second signing of the summer transfer window.

We have reportedly agreed a fee with Melbourne City for exciting 21-year-old winger Marco Tilio.  The Australian international has made over 80 appearances for his current club since signing from Sydney in 2020.

Comfortable on either flank and adaptable enough to play as a second striker or even in a slightly deeper midfield role, Tilio fits the profile of the dynamic forward that Rodgers likes.


Jarrod Hill from Celtic Down Under also rates the forward as a top talent and gave ACSOM a quick insight into what he could bring to the club.

“We’ve been saying on the CDU pod that we should sign him for the last 12 months. He’s a winger who can play on either side. He would be a good replacement for Abada if he was to move.  He’s not as direct going to goals as Abada is from the wing but does score at a decent rate. He’s more of a tricky winger so would suit Brendan Rodgers system slightly better than he would have suited Ange’s system”

In the current Australian season, Tilio has provided 14 goal contributions for Melbourne City, 10 goals and 4 assists, at a rate of 0.49 goal contributions per 90.  By comparison, both Liel Abada and Jota made 0.84 goal contributions per 90 while Daizen Maeda chipped in with 0.57 goal contributions in the league last season.

Two-footed and a strong dribbler, Tilio’s ball control underlines his ability to carry the ball over distance, which would appear to be one of his key strengths.  During the A-League season, Tilio recorded 4.5 progressive runs per 90, attempting 6.9 dribbles per 90 with a 58% success rate.


Perhaps not yet the finished article, and possibly more similar in style to Jota than Abada, Celtic’s interest in Tilio suggests a continuation of the clubs’ recent policy of scouring lesser-known markets for new talents.

Speaking to the media yesterday, Brendan Rodgers commented on the ‘confusion’ over the club’s recruitment policy during his first tenure and was at pains to highlight the excellent work now being carried out by Mark Lawwell and the recruitment team.

“I look at Mark (Lawwell) and the work that he’s done since he’s been here and it’s set up perfectly for a club like Celtic to work in the markets that they need to be working in and you can see the players that have been brought in through his recruitment team.”

If signed, Tilio would become the latest recruit to come in via Lawwell’s extensive scouting network and association to the City Group.


While Tilio looks like he will enter through the front door at Celtic Park, his fellow Aussie, Aaron Mooy, could be heading out the other way.

We noted as part of our assessment of Celtic’s number 8’s that Mooy is seriously considering retirement this summer following a troublesome back injury that plagued him towards the end of last season.  Mooy still has one year to run on his contract however, speculation is mounting that he may call time on his career.

If he does decide to hang up his boots, Mooy will leave with the best wishes of the Celtic support who came to appreciate the Australian’s contributions as the season developed.

Another midfielder who could be joining Mooy at the exit door is 19-year-old Lesotho-born Scotland youth international, Tsoanelo Letsosa.  Letsosa, who had a strong season for the Colts in the Lowland League has turned down a renewed contract with Celtic and looks set to sign for Belgian side S.K. Lommel.

Lommel are part of the City Group and have a good recent history in identifying and developing top young talents such as the Hungarian midfielder Zalan Vancsa, of whom big things are expected.  With a clear pathway from youths to the first team still not fully established at Celtic, Lommel may prove to be an ideal environment for Letsosa to develop his game yet further.

Kevin McCluskie


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